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Lighting is the most practical, exciting and mysterious of all design mediums. It is exciting because of its ability to transform any physical object it illuminates. It is a mysterious medium because light rays are invisible to the naked eye until they touch an object. And it is practical because of its value to our lives and its aesthetics, which is based on our scientific knowledge of lighting.
Light possesses the absolute power to show, enhance, and display objects and things to the human eye, so it is virtually impossible to evaluate any visual effect without the presence of lights.
To understand and manipulate lights, and to design creatively and effectively with it, an electrical lighting designer must understand its technology and at the same time aim to be decorative with the effect it produces.
Illumination and the use of light to achieve a general, creative, or aesthetic effect includes the use of both artificial lights at night and natural daylight that captures the day. So, whether you’re lighting your home or your office, incorporating all three types of lighting into your interior design theme will ensure that you create the ideal stylish space in every room.
There are three types of lighting that are directly related to interior design.
Ambient lighting: Ambient lights are general lights that are a necessary part of any good lighting plan. These are the lights that provide an overall glow to interiors. They are meant to set the tone for space and create enough light to see and move around safely and comfortably.
Ambient lighting generally consists of overhead light fixtures that include recessed lights, ceiling lights, spot and track lights, pendant lights, and chandeliers. Table and floor lamps also fall into this category.
Accent lighting: They create a focal point that builds on the ambient lights in a room. By adding dimension, accent lights are used to draw attention to decorative features like wall art, plants, or a display statue, and highlight them as special design elements of the interior.
When well placed, accent lights draw attention to the elements without drawing attention to how it is being lit. Examples of accent lighting include track lights, recessed lighting, picture lights, and wall sconces. They can be set at an angle and directed to serve as a spotlight.
Task lighting: These are localized lightings and are provided by a variety of different sources. This allows the option of adjusting the lighting for a workspace and brightening or darkening it as required. Effective task lighting is ideal for actions like reading, cooking, studying, or working. Basically, it is meant for whatever activity or work it is needed for.
A good task light should provide about 40 to 100 watts to a workspace. Task lighting can be created using a variety of light sources like recessed lights, track lighting, desk lamps, or adjustable task lamps. Halogen bulbs can be used for task lighting because they produce white light that is similar to natural daylight.
One of the few design elements that can be changed or manipulated easily and quickly is lighting. With the click of a light switch or the turn of a dimmer switch, light can be used to alter interior space aesthetics, moods, colours, patterns, or intensity.
Lighting is used to direct attention to some great interior décor piece within a room, because the eye always (unconsciously too) seeks out the brightest and most interesting object in its field of vision. And at night, outdoor lighting can be used effectively to direct movement through or within an outdoor environment.
There is no doubt about the importance of lighting design and how it is being used as a direct source of interior design and decoration. Below are some examples of how lighting properties can be related to the area, space, and interior design.
Colours in an interior space can be delicately balanced by selecting different light sources, each with its own specific attributes. So for example, if the interior décor is dominated with reds and blues tints, it's possible to subtly alter the emphasis of each colour by supplying different artificial light sources.
In interior spaces, no single source of light is visually pleasing. It is good to have a combination of portable light such as lamps and installed lighting fixtures. Using excessive light from one source and in one place causes a wild glare and can become quite unpleasant. So, it is better to use more light sources so as to have a successful and more effective lighting scheme.
Lighting, as an abstract and intangible design component, has a significant influence on our perception of the environment around us and whether or not our visual experience will be pleasant or not will depend on a lighting designer's skills in creative lighting design.
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